PewterReport.com analyzes the top players in the 2020 NFL Draft with its position previews. Taylor Jenkins previews the cornerback position with a comprehensive look at what the Bucs have and what they need at cornerback, a detailed list of this year’s top cornerbacks, and Scott Reynolds offers up the annual PewterReport.com Bucs’ Best Bets – one early round pick, and a pick from the later rounds.
What The Bucs Have At Cornerback
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Bucs CB Jamel Dean – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
The Bucs flooded the cornerback position over the past two years, taking Carlton Davis, M.J. Stewart, Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean. This makes up the core of Tampa Bay’s cornerback unit, with veteran Ryan Smith and possibly second-year undrafted free agent Mazzi Wilkins behind them.
While Davis, Murphy-Bunting and Dean have the confidence of their coaching staff and finished the second half of 2019 on a very high note, they’re limited behind their extremely young starting trio. Murphy-Bunting led the team with three interceptions and will start in the slot, while Dean and Davis, who will start outside, combined for three interceptions and have the length and physicality that Todd Bowles likes in his press-man scheme.
What The Bucs Need At Cornerback
The Bucs need depth at cornerback. As previously noted, Smith, Stewart and Wilkins sit behind Tampa Bay’s starting unit, but Stewart and Smith have shown that they can’t be relied on for consistent snaps outside of special teams work, and Wilkins is undersized with extremely limited experience, spending much of 2019 on the practice squad and playing just 12 defensive snaps.
While a veteran addition to the unit proves more and more unlikely as the draft approaches, Tampa Bay could add a Day 3 cornerback to provide depth in the case of regression or an injury within their starting lineup.
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